Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Human Services

Advisor

Mary Bold

Abstract

Despite reports of speech-language pathology graduate-level programs focusing on multicultural competence, the literature suggests speech-language pathologists are not adequately educated and trained to be culturally competent. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of public school-based speech-language pathologists' graduate-level academic instruction and the clinical practicum experiences in multicultural competence, specifically in the area of multicultural counseling. Guided by the theory of multicultural counseling and therapy, this study used a phenomenological approach, employing semistructured, in-person interviews with 7 participants. The inclusion criteria used for selecting study participants included: having a master's degree in speech-language pathology, graduation from an accredited, graduate-level speech-language pathology program, certification by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, employment as a speech-language pathologist for at least 2 years, and employment within the public school setting for at least 2 years at the time of the study. Concept mapping was used to analyze the participants' responses which allowed the organization of themes and subthemes that emerged. The analyzed data revealed the 7 participants shared experiences and perceptions in the following 5 themes: (a) the role of clinical practicum supervisors, (b) the approaches used to address multicultural counseling in academic instruction and clinical practicum experiences, (c) the influences in developing cultural competence, (d) feelings of preparedness once in the workplace, and (e) the effect adjustment counseling has on service delivery. The findings of this study support the need for more focus on multicultural competency in the area of multicultural counseling in the academic instruction and clinical practicum experiences of speech-language pathologists programs.